The Daily Rundown | March 22, 2012
>>> well, from contraception to domestic violence women's issues are at the forefront on the campaign trail and on capitol hill . joining me now, senator kay bailey hutchison . president is on an energy trip. huge industry in the state of texas . i want to ask a larger question, and that was, two years ago i thought we really were on the verge of a comprehensive energy bill and policy and whether it was -- of some sort of connection with building of nuclear power plant , some new drilling, cap and trade. is, all looked like there was right, everybody had something they were going to like in it and everybody had something they weren't going to like. is it possible to do these giant, big bills anymore? have these compromises or do it piecemeal like is the case this year?
>> well i don't think that that kind of energy bill is going to go through this year, but i do think we have such a division between the republicans and democrats. our energy sufficiency for our country that we will have a principle debate on what we ought to be doing. our position is we should be using our natural resources so we don't have to depend on countries that are in turmoil in the middle east or in south america for our basic needs for our economy.
>> it does seem, though, there is sort of consensus on that. right? everybody agrees that they want the u.s. to wean itself off of foreign oil . the question is, how much conservation needs to be involved? how much renewables? how much do you pursue the other energy aspects versus more natural resources ? what is that balance? is that what really is the dividing line here?
>> well, i wish there were a con sen consensus but i don't see a consensus with the president on that. he's had so many opportunities to increase the drilling in the gulf of mexico and he hasn't done it. we're virtually at a moratorium on drilling, and the keystone pipeline , he's saying, oh, yeah. we're going to have the end. we're just not going to connect it to canada. i mean, really, i don't think that's a consensus.
>> and the gulf, you had the bp issue, which you had to put a moratorium for the short-term while they figured that out and then they had lifted that, in time.
>> they lifted the moratorium over a year ago. they just haven't issued any permits. it's ridiculous. they talk a good game, but there have not been -- i mean, they've been dribbling out. it's not enough to do what we need to do to make america have the capability to sustain ourselves with our natural resources . we have the natural resources . we want conservation. we want the alternative energy sources like wind and natural gas . these are great, but they aren't enough to make us self-sufficient. oil and natural gas will do that. but we haven't had the impetus from his administration we could have had and could have been energy self-efficient by now if we had started years ago when we couldn't get the bills through congress and get things set up.
>> when you hear -- switching topics. when you hear the phrase war on women and it's connected to the perception that the republican party or parts of the republican party as this conversation about contraception, about sonograms we've seen, take place particularly in state legislatures , what's your reaction when you hear that?
>> well, i just think that's wrong. i think that the contraception issue was made into something that it was not. it was a religious freedom issue that a lot of people felt strongly about. and certainly no one is saying that we should have a role in telling women they can't have contraception, which is what the democrats are suggesting. that's absurd.
>> there's a thing going on in the state of texas that has to do with the department of health and human services saying they're going to cut off medicaid funding for family planning in the state of texas because of the governor's decision to implement a new plan that excludes planned parenthood from the state's medicaid women's health program. was that a mistake?
>> we cannot afford to lose the medicaid funding for low-income women to have health care services . we cannot. we can't keep turning back federal funds that every state gets and then try to find money in our budget which is already being cut in key areas like education. i do think that the governor needs to sit down with the federal government and work it out so that we can have our share, our fair share , and not more, but our fair share of money for medicaid to help low-income women have their health care services .
>> so it sounds like you think that he should not be excluding planned parenthood ?
>> well, you know, i can't say -- i think planned parenthood does mammograms. they do so much -- so much of the health care , the preventative health care , and if they're doing that, then we need to provide those services. absolutely.
>> all right. senator kay bailey hutchison , republican will texas. always